The countdown is on for the challengers to recreate historic voyage

The crew of Shackleton Epic are due to set sail today on their trans-Antarctic expedition.

Weymouth’s sailor and navigator Paul Larsen said the team remained
optimistic despite a few setbacks.

The crew will be departing
the world’s southernmost
city a day later than originally
planned, due to gale force winds over 55 knots and a delay in
essential gear arriving into port.

With key pieces of gear stuck in Chile, expedition Bosun Petty Officer
Seb Coulthard made a mercy dash by air early this morning to
retrieve the crucial items.

Larsen, who recently set the world speed
sailing record of 65.45knots aboard VESTAS Sailrocket 2 in Namibia,
said overcoming obstacles is what this expedition is about.

He said: “Today’s problems are forgotten as quickly
as they are resolved and this whole trip is such an adventure, even
just being in Ushuaia training on the ice today was brilliant.

“I’m really looking forward to getting
onto the Alexandra Shackleton [replica lifeboat] so I can start using my expertise.”

The Shackleton
Epic expedition aims to honour and celebrate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s remarkable
800 nautical mile voyage across the Southern Ocean, made from 1914 to 1916.

Expedition lead Tim Jarvis and his
crewwill sail Alexandra
, a purpose-built, exact replica of Shackleton’s 22.5ft (6.9m)
lifeboat, James Caird across the same stretch of open ocean and then
attempt to cross the rugged peaks of South Georgia.

The crew will
be using 1916 gear without assistance from modern navigation aids or any 21st
century equipment.

The Shackleton Epic expedition aboard the support vessel ‘Australis’
is due to depart Ushuaia, Tierra del Feugo, Argentina around 12 noon
local time on 3 January, 2013.